Please, Don’t Evangelize Me

The other day as I was finishing my last half hour of my shift at Starbucks, I wrung up the order for two young girls. They looked to be in their mid-late teens, and their frappaccino orders solidified suspicions. I noticed instantly that these girls were carrying large Bibles – not unlike the one I… Read more »

6 Wasted Years?

I’m going to turn 33 on September 29th. I will also be marking 6 years since my life took a drastic change.¬†Naturally, I’m reflecting. ūüôā On September 28th, we will be celebrating the 6th anniversary of the birthday party we threw at Union Station. That day in late September of 2008, I saw a miracle… Read more »


(An update blog by Jamie White)   Marathon training is uncomfortable. My positive nature and our overly-filtered society push me to share a lot of the good I get from running (hitting new personal records for time or distance, beautiful pictures of sunrises or skylines) while suppressing the less glamorous realities. So, some real-talk for… Read more »

How an Open House Restores

(An update blog by Jordan Kelly) Every Sunday afternoon the JUSTembrace house opens up their yard and house for the community to come and hang out. These “open houses” usually consist of food, games, and music, with the house becoming a place full of activity and life. People can be found in the yard playing… Read more »

Abandonment Issues – reflections on the death of a sibling, 24 years later

On June 23, 1990 my 12-year-old sister, Stacia Cressa, lost a 5 month and 1 day battle with cancer. ¬†At the age of 8 years old, my world shifted so traumatically that I believe the loss of Stacia has colored every relationship and life decision since. I’ve often wondered over the last 24 years what… Read more »

The Kingdom of God is at the Gate

This morning I was reading in Matthew 13 a bunch of different ways Jesus was describing the Kingdom of God to his disciples. I have heard all of these parables before – but this morning I saw myself in them a little differently – particularly these two examples: The kingdom of heaven is like¬†treasure hidden… Read more »

Good Friday

The last haunting words of Jesus before he died in Matthew’s gospel were: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”. Taken from the first verse of Psalm 22, it is interesting that Jesus’ last words were the beginning of this psalm that modeled so much of what he was experiencing on the cross…. Read more »

Buddy and God

Suffering is something our culture tends to look down on, and tries to avoid. It seems that to show any outward signs of suffering can be seen as a sign of weakness and failure. Since moving into Uptown and the JUSTembrace community, I have seen more outward signs of suffering than ever before. One thing… Read more »

Can True Community Make Us Suicidal?

I just got home from church where I sobbed nearly the whole time. ¬†I’m up in the attic that we’ve transformed into a chapel space and listening to a soothing Pandora station where Cademon’s Call is expressing my pain: The prince of despairs been beaten Lord But the loser still fights Death’s on a long… Read more »

The Legacy of a Peacemaker

“Who smells like grape bubblegum?!” I asked a line of folks waiting to eat at a soup kitchen one summer day in 2011. Anthony was the culprit, as he showed me his grape cigarello. That was the beginning of one of the closest friendships I have been gifted in Uptown. A few weeks after meeting… Read more »